“Start something no matter how small”- CEO Kikidiva Apparels
Many have gotten burnt at the hands of Fashion designers or “tailors” as they are fondly called. While some are all about denting the image of the profession some are in the business of making their customers happy. One of such people is Andero Kikelomo. YC caught up with her and she had this to say about her career and the impact it has had on her.
Please introduce yourself and what you do
My name is Andero Kikelomo Esther. I am a fashion designer and the CEO of Kikidiva Apparels.
What was growing up like?
I started my primary school at the age of 3 but you wouldn’t know. Then I also attended three different secondary schools. It seems I have a thing for the figure 3.
What were your aspirations while growing up?
Like every other regular kid, I aspired to become a doctor. I eventually studied transport management technology, I was offered this course at the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) against Microbiology that I wanted to study. I was discouraged at first because people were always calling us “Up national”, but I got used to it and I really enjoyed the course to the extent that I would love to get my Masters in it.
How did you conceive your business idea?
My idea to start a fashion designing agency came while I was in my final year. I was just tired of the charges tailors give on clothes, so I decided to learn it for the sole reason of sewing for myself. But while I was sewing, I discovered there was more to it than just sewing for myself.
What sacrifices have you made to be a successful entrepreneur?
At the very early stage, I would take clothes from customers and go to a friends place to sew overnight. I had challenges with making clothes very neat with my manual machine. It has not been easy trying to sew and also market my business, but God has been good to me.
How do you make sure you do not disappoint customers and always meet up within the time frame?
It’s a mindset, once I have clothes to sew, I don’t sleep. The sleep will not just come and if I won’t be able to meet up, I won’t collect the request. Customer satisfaction is important to my business and I try to do everything in my power to make them happy.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors ?
I sew to taste,I sew to fit and I don’t disappoint.
What is the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass to our readers?
The advise I mostly get from people is that I shouldn’t look for a white collar job, I should face my fashion designing squarely no matter how small. That is an advice I would like to pass on. Rather than sleeping at home and remaining idle, learn a skill(s). Start something no matter how small.
What do you do for fun/relaxation ?
I don’t really like going out so I just stay indoors and cut any cloth available into any style.